Famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is no stranger to controversy. But Weinstein says he’s turned his sights on his biggest target yet: the National Rifle Association.
“I shouldn’t say this. I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this issue head on and they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” Weinstein said during an interview with radio host Howard Stern Wednesday.
“I think the NRA is a disaster area,” Weinstein added, saying, “I don’t think we need guns in this country.”
Deadline Hollywood says the movie is currently titled “The Senator’s Wife” and will focus on the NRA’s successful attempts to lobby federal lawmakers against voting for gun control legislation.
Yahoo News has reached out to the NRA, which says it has not yet issued a public statement responding to Weinstein's comments. Yahoo News also reached out to the Weinstein Co. for comment.
Weinstein told Stern the film will not be a documentary, but rather a “big movie like a 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,'” which he believes will affect the national debate in ways lawmakers have so far been unable to do.
“I think we can do something,” he said.
Weinstein has been involved in politics for years and helped raise more than $500,000 for President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign.
As recently as May, Weinstein hosted a fundraiser attended by Obama at the producer’s New York home.
Stern pressed Weinstein about his views on gun control, noting that Weinstein’s forthcoming directorial project is about a violent uprising in World War II.
“I never want to have a gun,” Weinstein said. However, he acknowledged that were he to find one during a scenario like the Holocaust, he’d be willing to use it. “When you’re marching half a million people in Auschwitz … if that was happening to my people.”
Conservative critics are going after Weinstein, calling him a hypocrite for opposing Second Amendment rights while producing several films with gun violence, most prominently those directed by Quentin Tarantino including two "Kill Bill" films, "Pulp Fiction" and, most recently, "Django Unchained."
However, after the 2012 Colorado theater shootings, Weinstein proposed hosting a summit that would bring filmmakers together to discuss gun violence as portrayed onscreen.
"I think as filmmakers we should sit down — the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies — and discuss our role in that," Weinstein said.